Cllr Barry Sweeny Elected Chairperson of Donegal ETB

Image of Cllr Barry Sweeny
Newly elected Donegal ETB Chairperson Cllr Barry Sweeny.

Cllr Barry Sweeny was elected Chairperson of Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB) this afternoon. Cllr Martin Harley was elected Deputy Chairperson.

They replace outgoing Chairperson Cllr Albert Doherty and outgoing Deputy Chairperson Cllr Gary Doherty.

Donegal ETB is the largest education and training provider in the county. Along with its extensive Further Education and Training (FET) Service, it manages fifteen out of the twenty-seven post-primary schools in Co Donegal and is a trustee partner for a further eight Community and Comprehensive schools.

The ETB also provides outdoor education and training at its centre at Gartan, along with music education and has legal responsibilities for youth work.

The Board of Donegal ETB is made up of twelve elected representatives, two staff, two parents, two local industry and three sectoral interest representatives.

Speaking about his election as Chairperson, Cllr Barry Sweeny said, “Since joining the ETB I’ve become so much more aware of the vast reach of Donegal ETB across our county. The organisation really provides a great level of service in a very inclusive and accessible way. We’re very lucky to have such dedicated staff across the county and our islands and with continued investment, our infrastructure is improving all the time. The challenges that are out there at the moment are some of the obvious ones and I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the staff, management and students for their resilience and flexibility in continuing to provide such a high level of service during COVID times. I am assured that Donegal ETB will continue to provide support to students, staff and families affected by MICA. Opportunities and a need for additional apprenticeships and traineeships exist to help with re-building and the ETB can play an important role here. An area close to my heart is traditional craft and building skills. I welcome the recent launch of the Weaving traineeship in Kilcar and encourage the exploration of skills like Thatching, Stone Building and traditional Joinery to help protect our heritage and build a centre of expertise in Donegal. I look forward to the year ahead, I’ll do my best and I’d like to thank everyone for the nomination and support.”

The other elected representatives include Cllr Albert Doherty, Cllr Gary Doherty, Cllr Rena Donaghey, Cllr John O Donnell, Cllr Martin Farren, Cllr Donal Coyle, Cllr Michael McBride, Cllr Noreen McGarvey, Cllr Noel Jordan and Cllr John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh.

Staff representatives are Joanne Donaghy and Barry Molloy, while parents’ representatives are Geoffrey Browne and Lorraine Doherty.

The remaining five representatives are Ms Lorraine Thompson (Donegal Youth Service) representing Youth Work Ireland, Patsy McVicar representing the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), Regina Grant representing the Disability Federation of Ireland and industry representatives Brian McDermott (Chef) representing the Irish Hospitality Institute and Gerard Grant (Tata Consultancy Services) representing IBEC.

Cllr Martin Harley
Newly elected Donegal ETB Deputy Chairperson Cllr Martin Harley.

Speaking about the appointments, Donegal ETB Chief Executive Anne McHugh said, “I would like to congratulate Cllr Barry Sweeny and Cllr Martin Harley on their election as Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of Donegal ETB. We have just agreed our next five-year Strategy Statement and I look forward to working with them over the coming year on the delivery of this strategy to help students to achieve their full potential and to contribute to the social, cultural and economic life of their communities.”